Draft Profile: Kelvin Benjamin

Fox Sports profiles the towering receiver and first or second round draft prospect Kelvin Benjamin.  Benjamin played on the national championship Florida State Seminoles.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Benjamin is something of an enigma right now.  An unknown Jets source said “you can’t coach 6’5″ but is size all the Jets need?  Could Montcrief be a first rounder?  No one can seem to say.  Last week Benjamin’s rep took a bit of a hit with a story leaked about his unwillingness to work out for an NFL coach?  Is it truth or fiction?

No one can seem to find out, but look for the massively built Benjamin to take a tumble into the second round on draft days.

Link: PFF grades the Jets’ 2009-2011 drafts

Over at PFF, they’ve been running their “Draft Grader” series, where they look back a few years to grade some recent drafts with the benefit of hindsight. In their analysis for the Jets, it’s a mixed bag, netting out at exactly neutral overall.

The highest scores are awarded to moves where there was a late round pick that became a solid contributor, while the highest negatives of course go to higher picks that did not contribute as hoped.

The Jets certainly fared better than they did in last year’s analysis, which looked at 2008 to 2010.

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

As with every team, you’re going to have your ups and downs in the draft but, in recent years, the Jets haven’t done as badly as their reputation in some circles would suggest. With the terrible 2008 draft removed from the equation, obviously that improves the outlook significantly. It’s disappointing that some of the positive picks they were given credit for are no longer contributing for whatever reason, but you could optimistically look ahead two years and anticipate that when we get to review the 2011-2013 drafts, things are going to look even better.

Without wanting to nitpick the analysis too much, I can’t agree with their take that Wilkerson’s 2013 performance was not quite as good as 2012. He made just as many (if not more) impact plays and dramatically improved his production in the pass rush. While his run defense grades were down (but still very good), I saw that mainly as a function of the fact he had to take on more double teams with Sione Po’uha and Mike DeVito no longer on the team. Clearly this made a positive contribution to the unit as a whole because they were the top run defense in the league for most of the year.

You might also be surprised to note that they are so down on the Kyle Wilson pick, especially in light of the fact that their own data portrays him as one of the top slot corners in the league. However, this is based on the QB rating whenever he was targeted in the slot, so doesn’t take into account where he didn’t deserve any credit for an unsuccessful play, whereas their grades (according to which he is a slightly below average player) do. Therefore, it’s hard to argue with their take that he has made disappointing contributions for a first round pick, although it will be interesting to see how he performs in his contract year.

Buzz: Jets interested in Boston College RB Andre Williams?

The New York Jets, along with at least three other AFC teams have shown significant interest in Boston College running back Andre Williams, writes Aaron Wilson for National Football Post. (NFP, April 18)

Williams (5’11″ 230 lbs) won 2013′s Doak Walker Award by shattering the Boston College single-season rushing record with 2,177 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds at his Pro Day workout, slightly improving 4.56 showing at the Combine.

Four AFC teams have expressed interest in Andre Williams, according to Wilson.  Beyond the Jets, the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are among the interested parties, per league sources.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Even though the Jets just added a running back this past week in the form of Chris Johnson, is the team still interested in adding another potential playmaker to the position through the draft?  The team might use one of their picks, but between Ivory and Johnson it seems like the team would have the workhorse role locked up … something that Williams could very well become in the NFL.  Wiliams has drawn second-round to third-round grades, so in the light of adding Chris Johnson he might now be a player in which the Jets forego further interest.

Should the Jets consider drafting a running back it might be more the pass-catching / big play speedster to sit in the third or fouth spot behind Ivory and Johnson.

Draft Profile: WR Donte Moncrief

Fox Sports profiles second day wide receiver prospect Donte Moncrief from Ole Miss.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Terry Bradway attended Moncrief’s Pro Day and he seems to be a good NFL receiver in the making.  While he doesn’t have elite speed, Moncrief has deceptive speed, a thick frame and is known as a smooth route runner already.

One more thing?  Rex Ryan loves WRs who are willing to block and Montcrief has demonstrated an enthusiasm and knack for doing so.

Daily Links: Ready to go

  • Mo ready to kick the new season off this coming week. [NewYorkJets]
  • Chris insists his knee is fine. [Record]
  • Will Chris Johnson be able to participate in the offseason program? [NYDN]
  • What are the Jets players saying on social media? [NewYorkJets]
  • Shrewd move to pick up the option, writes Will Brinson. [CBS Sports]
  • Is this May draft just an excuse to spread out the calendar? [Sporting News]

BGA: Scouting TJ Barnes

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Throughout April, I’ll be looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the regular season. Jets fans might not know too much about these players, so I’ll be looking at NFL game footage to try and assess what they might be able to bring to the table.

Today we’re going to look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes, who the Jets signed to a futures deal at the end of the season. The 23-year old Barnes is listed at an enormous 6’7″ and 364 pounds. He was undrafted last year out of Georgia Tech and spent time with Jacksonville in preseason before signing with the Jets in October and spending the remainder of the season on the practice squad. His cousin is former Jets tight end Fred Baxter.

After the jump, a brief look at footage from his time with Jacksonville to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

To read more of this story, click here

Draft Profile: Darqueze Dennard

Fox Sports profiles projected first round cornerback Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

True, the Jets just drafted their third first round cornerback last year dating back to 2007, but the team does need help in the secondary and Dennard has a reputation of just the sort of physical cornerback that Rex Ryan loves coming out of school.  Dennard is known for excellent technique, hand placement and uses the boundary to his advantage.  While the Jets might have their eyes on other prizes should  some of them have gotten snapped up prior to the 18th pick in the first round, it would be hard to pass on Dennard who could give the Jets one of the best young corner tandems in the league.

Surveying the Jets skill positions

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

With a lot of focus outside the walls of Florham Park on the Jets skill positions our friends over at TOTJ did an awesome job of breaking down the team’s current starters at the team’s skill positions that you should definitely read.  Here’s our boiled down version with an eye on the upcoming draft.
NFL: AFC Championship-New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

Eric Decker was signed in March to invigorate the Jets offense

WIDE RECEIVER
Relevant Depth Chart: Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Stephen Hill
Analysis: By simply adding Decker, this group is much improved.  Decker provides a big target who is physical and can get behind a defense from time to time.  Jeremy Kerley is typecast as a slot player, but in truth he could be a competent #2 when pressed into service … he’s played better than Santonio Holmes going on three years now.  David Nelson was found money last season and provided the team a big target for Geno Smith in the middle and in the red zone.
Areas of Improvement: With three big targets (Decker, Nelson, Hill) in-house along with the shifty Jeremy Kerley, the team could consider adding any number of receivers, but their greatest need is for a “speed with hands” type.  Since bringing on Marty Mornhinweg last year as the team’s offensive coordinator, there’s been a lot of activity around small and speedy deep threats.  Tavon Austin last year along with interest in DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders and Andrew Hawkins.  In the first round this year that player is Brandin Cooks.  He’s athletic and bigger than Austin was, but maybe with slightly less speed.  Either way, he would be able to grab a few deep passes a game and soften the defense for the running and shorter passing game. To read more of this story, click here

Quote: The Hunger Game

“I’m excited. Everyone knows he’s very explosive. He’s had 1,000-yard seasons over the last I think six years, or however long it has been. Just reading his comments in the press — he’s hungry. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. I think he adds a dynamic piece to our offense.”

– Jets WR Eric Decker on the addition of Chris Johnson